The NCAA tournament starts today! There were games last night, you say? Well, yes, those are in the tournament, and they do count. I’m not one to say that you weren’t really in the tournament if you lose one of those games. That’s garbage. No, those games counted. However, the first full day is what I consider the start. Last night was like the present some families let their kids open on Christmas Eve. I have never bought into that either.
So enjoy the games today. I’m sure you took the day off work. You didn’t? Ok. We’re done here.
Chicago White Sox 9, Kansas City Royals 7 (Box Score)
3:05pm – MLBST – Los Angeles Angels at Kansas City Royals (MLBN, FSKC)
Royals Alternate Training Site Set
The Royals are locating their alternate training site at Northwest Arkansas. They hope to play games against other minor league teams until the minor league season starts. Last year the site was at T-Bones Stadium in Kansas City, Kansas. Major League Baseball was initially going to start Triple-A games in early April, but recently they changed their minds and pushed the start of the season back to May to have a pool of players available for the major league club similar to what they had throughout the regular season last year.
Chiefs Offensive Line Taking Shape
The Chiefs signed RT Mike Remmers to a one-year, $3.5 million contract. His agent said that he was signed to be the starting right tackle, but starting jobs are earned on the field. Rookie Lucas Niang, who opted out last season, is expected to compete with Remmers at that spot.
The right guard spot is expected to be a competition between newly signed Kyle Long and Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, who opted out in 2020.
The center position is a real question right now. Currently, I’m not sure there is anyone to give the ball to Patrick Mahomes, but the Chiefs might try to re-sign Austin Reiter.
Left guard is locked up by Joe Thuney, who the team just signed as a free agent away from the New England Patriots.
And then there is the left tackle position. The Chiefs made a run at San Francisco left tackle Trent Williams but could not pull him away from the 49ers.
So the overhaul of the offensive line, which we have discussed is similar to the defensive overhaul after the 2018 season, is not going quite as smoothly. Had the Chiefs signed Williams, it might be going better than that defensive overhaul. But the Chiefs don’t want to have to rely on a rookie they draft this year, so expect Brett Veach to continue looking for something before then.
NFL Television Rights
The NFL salary cap will be going way up in the next few years. The league signed a couple of 11-year deals that will run through 2033. The deals give the league an additional $100 billion.
CBS and FOX keep the Sunday afternoon packages. NBC keeps Sunday Night Football. ESPN keeps Monday Night Football. With the deals, ABC/ESPN was added to the Super Bowl rotation.
Amazon gets exclusive rights to stream Thursday Night Football. Amazon’s deal is the NFL’s first all-digital package. Amazon will produce its own games.
There will also be increased flexibility for Sunday and Monday night games. Monday flex games begin in Week 12.
ESPN+ will stream one exclusive national game per season beginning in 2022. ESPN will also broadcast one wild-card and one divisional game beginning in 2023.
NFL Sunday Ticket will change, but we don’t know yet what will happen with that. ESPN is interested in the package and adding it to ESPN+.
Frustrated by conditions in Indianapolis, players renew their call for more on eve of NCAA Tournament (Gary Parrish)
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